- Associated Press - Thursday, May 1, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Bud Black has a pretty good idea why the San Diego Padres are off to another slow start. The veteran manager also knows it will get a lot rougher for his ballclub if things don’t change soon.

One night after being shut out for the fourth time this season, the Padres managed just five hits off 38-year-old Tim Hudson in a 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.

That ended a disappointing 4-6 road trip that included two shutouts and four other games in which the Padres were held to two runs or fewer.

“We’re battling, we’re playing hard but we’re not swinging the bats,” Black said. “The bullpen’s been solid and the starters pretty much have done their part. We’ve got to get the bats going.”

San Diego starter Robbie Erlin overcame a shaky first two innings and struck out five, giving the Padres a franchise-record 220 for March and April.

Offensively, San Diego did little.

Hudson (4-1) pitched seven scoreless innings and was one pitch from recording his first complete game in nearly two years before Yasmani Grandal’s two-out home run in the ninth. The three-time All-Star struck out six and didn’t walk a batter for the fourth time in five starts this season.

Brandon Hicks homered and Michael Morse drove in his team-leading 20th RBI for the Giants, who finished 5-1 on their homestand.

Cameron Maybin doubled and scored for San Diego, which has lost 10 consecutive series at AT&T; Park.

“He was thrown the ball down,” said Padres leadoff hitter Everth Cabrera, who went 0-for-4 after hitting safely in 18 of his previous 21 games. “Down and away, down and in. Slider action, good split. Hudson does a really good job of taking advantage of guys.”

The Padres made it easier on San Francisco’s starter.

Hudson allowed only one runner past second base until Grandal’s home run in the ninth, and had two stretches where he retired nine straight batters.

The right-hander was sharp early and needed only 19 pitches to retire the first seven batters. After giving up a one-out single to Jace Peterson in the third, Hudson struck out Erlin and Cabrera.

The only other hits the Padres managed came on a two-out double by Grandal in the fourth, a single by Jedd Gyorko in the seventh and a leadoff double by Maybin in the eighth. Maybin scored on Alexi Amarista’s groundout.

“He just put on a clinic,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “He stayed down the whole game, had good movement, changed speeds and threw strike one. If you want to show young pitchers how to do it, that’s how you do it.”

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